A slice of a £778 million government and local authority investment into Birmingham and the West Midlands for the recent Commonwealth Games has enabled a major commercial centre in the city to upgrade its fire safety systems – with help from CDS.
The life safety systems specialist and its newly acquired fire detection and compliance technology company Drax 360, worked together to install a new graphics package at the venue. The upgrade, AMX, makes identifying the source of a fire straightforward – even for a newly trained security employee or someone for whom English is not his or her first language.
The innovative technology, designed and manufactured by CDS and Drax 360, is regarded by many companies in the fire industry as one of the most versatile and flexible graphics packages, useable with a range of the industry’s leading panel brands. It is also available as a separate bespoke add-on to systems with older, less comprehensive graphics interfaces, with the bonus of one-to-one technical input direct from the Drax 360 team.
The tool offers very clear reactive capabilities, with the security operator’s PC showing precisely where in the building an alarm has occurred, on an easy-to-understand floor plan, created by a graphic designer. Clear device and location information brought through the software connection to the fire panel is displayed, as well as clear instructions on how to react to the alert.
In the case of the Commonwealth Games this could, in theory, have shown that one area of the complex needed to be evacuated, while highlighting where other activities were taking place, thus ensuring a swift and safe evacuation of relevant parts of the building. It would also enable the user to identify whether it was a false alarm, avoiding the need to relocate hundreds or thousands of people unnecessarily.
In addition to its reactive capabilities, the system can be used proactively. For example, if one area was hosting a concert using smoke effects it could be deactivated and, using the constantly variable ‘analogue values’ technical data, the smoke detector values could be checked before being activated to avoid a false alarm caused by the residual smoke.
The technical data generated via the system can be used to ensure and demonstrate compliance. This transparent methodology means the data can also be monitored by CDS to ensure it is correctly recorded.
The city venue is aiming to add another building to the existing network, with the new graphic interface having the capacity for future growth.
The graphics package is just one of the innovative technologies created by Drax 360, whose alarm management software helps protect both Oxford and Cambridge Universities and swathes of the NHS.
Both Drax 360 and CDS are Honeywell Gent Elite Technology Centres, with CDS also enjoying Honeywell Notifier Gold Partner status.